The group is committed to investing significantly on Tongaat Hulett Limited: Kagera Sugar MD

by Grace Kisembo

Kagera Sugar Managing Director, Nassor Seif, has revealed that the group is committed to investing significantly in the operations of the JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett Limited, to modernise the plants and expand them to increase production and efficiencies.

This was said after Tongaat Hulett’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) announced that Kagera  has been selected as the preferred strategic equity partner (SEP) to acquire all of Tongaat’s sugar assets.

The proposed transaction will comprise the acquisition of the entire sugar division of Tongaat Hulett Limited (THL) in South Africa, as well as the investments in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana.

Kagera is a sugar manufacturing company situated in Kagera, in the north-western part of Tanzania. It is part of a group of companies which are the largest producers of sugar in Tanzania and owns sugar assets in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Middle East.

“We started the process with a list of more than 70 interested parties, which was narrowed down to eight that focused on acquiring the combined Tongaat sugar assets. After a rigorous process, we identified Kagera as the preferred candidate.

“The group is financially sound, with a solid record. Its exposure to complementary sugar assets in Tanzania and the DRC offers relevant technical and operational knowledge to assist the turnaround of THL’s South African sugar assets.

“In addition, the sugar refineries in Oman and Bahrain will provide access to world-class technologies and expertise to improve efficiencies,” the BRPs say.

“Continuing to operate Tongaat’s sugar assets as a combined multi-country group will ensure continuity for the operations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

“It will also provide the South African business with access to technical capability to improve and to retain jobs in KwaZulu-Natal and to protect the livelihoods of several stakeholders across THL’s value chain, including that of the group’s many small-scale growers,” they added.

“The acquisition is in line with the group’s overall strategy to expand its operations throughout Africa and its vision of becoming a leading sugar producer on the continent. We will extend the core values that have resulted in the success of our group companies to the new Southern African operations to benefit employees, growers and, ultimately, the economy of the region.

“The group is committed to investing significantly in the operations to modernise the plants and expand them to increase production and efficiencies,” Seif said.

Additional information on the process and the preferred bidder will be reported to creditors in monthly reports and included in the updated business rescue plan.

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